Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Motivation, the essential ingredient for creativity

Asking anyone about the motives in their work, you will probably get the famous answer: money! Is it though all about money? It is the money of course but it is not the only motive.

Making some quantitative and qualitative analysis in these answers, -the more answers you will get the better-, you will realise that money is not or does not have the same weight for all people.

This varies according to the age group if you examine it closely: 
  • young people between the age of 18-24 years certainly look for a strong motive and money is one, that can allow them to buy sport cars, expensive clothes etc.;
  • people in between 24-30 years look also for the money but they do look also for other non materialistic goods like recognition, baseline a career path, public relations;
  • starting from people now in the age between 30-36, seem to look for other motives. They look less for the money, seek career development, establish a position and a status quo, look for more stability and work security; 
  • Looking now for people in the age 40+ this is the group that has more or less has secure a status quo, a steady payroll covering needs is received,  have set up a way of life, so motives for this group can be anything else than money! 
For sure all of the people want money, and money is a motive, however does not have the same affect on productivity or on the expected work and definitely depends on certain factors like the age described above.

So these age ranges are indicative and can be used only to show  the affect of a motive like money can have to an individual, and how this can be used to boost productiveness. 

This post is not a scientific thesis about the impact of money and how someone can be affected, it is more of an example how motives can influence people and how these can be different within a group of people, team members at work.

Motivation can affect performance of a person's work and this needs to be carefully examined, evaluated with a direct communication with the person that needs motivation.

Motives are human feelings, can be considered as needs, for which without them, our society couldn't have reached this level of growth ( not going to evaluate if this growth is good or bad). Motivation can have numerous affects and can be of numerous types.

The affect of motivation on a person can be seen from his career development, from his personal life, from material he possesses, the targets (s)he sets, the effort spent for an activity, the dedication and engagement for completing a task.

The types of motivation can be numerous, ranging from emotional, non materialistic, to materialistic. Non materialistic motivation types are those that boost the self esteem of people, making them feel emotionally right that are being part of a team, participating in a progress to achieve something, be proud for, these are examples that can be considered as emotionally driven motives.

Recognition, appreciations, maybe seniority titles, building a good reputation etc. are some of the gains people receive when emotional motives drive the target.

Nothing said about materials, assets, money something that will increase someones cash balance in the bank or receiving a bonus cheque, noting is mentioned about getting a company car as a personal reward, or a paid round  trip to Hawaii. These among thousands of others are considered motives that are materialistic ones!

Managing motives, or creating motives for members of a team at work, in your family in your every day personal life, spices up your goals and your living, boosts your expectations.

Someone might ask: "There cannot be work without a motive?", yes there can be work without a motive, but the level of engagement, dedication and quality that the product or service will carry on when it is completed won't be the same with one that was completed by people, who had a motive(s).

Imagine motivation as a spice in a cooking recipe, which if you don't have it, the taste won't be as expected, the meal will look like the image in the recipe, or almost the same, but something still would be missing!
"Motivation is a required ingredient for valuable creativity!"
My suggestion would be: do not have only one motive, build your own "motivation repository", categorize the motives you have in there and "apply" the appropriate as you feel, in order to achieve your goal, it will be quicker than not having one, or having just one!

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us 

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